Dec 4, 2014

Weapons of Choice: S&W Model 66 - K-Frame Returns

Model 66 (Click to enlarge)
Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver has a rich history, once widely used by law enforcement until the semi-automatic took over in popularity. It is still a good handgun for concealed carry and home defense. In .357 Magnum caliber, you can shoot the cheaper .38 Special ammunition at the range.
S&W made the Model 66 has a light trigger with smooth action and now is available in the original K-Frame that made it so popular. It is an all stainless steel revolver that is a beauty to own and rugged for constant range use.
The K-Frame was introduced in 1899 and since then was a favorite until recently for use by law enforcement and military before the M1911 and the Beretta became standard handguns. The K-Frame is also available in .22 LR and .38 S&W Special. Safety Note: Do not fire .357 ammunition in a pistol made for .38 Special; but you can fire the .38 Special in any firearm made for .357 Magnum caliber.
Hickock 45 features a range demonstration and a bit about the revolver's history in this YouTube video:
The Model 66 is called the Combat Magnum and was re-introduced in 2014, the original being out of production for nine years.
It has an MSRP of $849. It is a single or double action with a barrel length of 4.5 inches. The grip is synthetic, but you can replace it with custom grips available at several sources online.
The frame and cylinder has a glass bead stainless steel finish and weighs 36.6 ounces. It has a Red Ramp front sight with a white outline adjustable rear sight.
It is a high quality six-shot wheel gun that S&W is famous for.
If you want something that has more power, there is the Model 69 in .44 Magnum, like used in the Clint Eastwood films. But the .357 Magnum has the power needed to stop the bad guys with the feature of using .38 Special ammunition at the range to save some dollars.
If you want to carry or use quick loads for the range, you can purchase the appropriate speed loaders that come with pouches that can be worn on the belt giving you 12 shots instead of just six in a pinch. 
If the safety lock on the Model 66 annoys you, take it to the local gunsmith and have it removed. Without it, the action and dependability is impressive.  Sometimes the lock engages with the force of the recoil, which can be quite annoying and in the case of self defense, this could be a dangerous feature. The larger calibers are more likely to engage from recoil, obviously. The idea was to lock the gun up so children could not do anything with it. S&W should only offer this feature as an option, not as standard. Many purchase the older, used Model 66 revolvers because they do not have the internal safety lock.
Other than that, the revolver is great. If you would like to remove the lock yourself, here is a video that shows you how; otherwise, take it to the gunsmith. Keep in mind, a gunsmith may refuse to do it because of liability, or if in Illinois (or other anti-Second Amendment states), it is unlawful for a gunsmith to remove an internal safety device. Oddly, it is not unlawful to remove the device yourself from your own gun. The video is for an Airweight revolver, but the lock is the same on other models.
The next video is the Model 66 as they were made in the older models. Notice the beautiful wood grips.
The older models, as above, do not have the infernal internal safety locks. In regards to that, children should not have access to firearms at all without adult supervision, so why make the firearm more expensive to produce (and raise the retail price) for a feature such as a children safety lock?
The last two videos is a review of both Model 66 and Model 60 and a revolver cleaning video:

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